The Government is making some progress in meeting its self-declared target that 25% of all central government procurement spend goes to SMEs as the spend has now moved up from 6.% to 10.5%. (Source: ‘Making Government Business More Accessible’. Two Years on’. Cabinet office document). But we still have some way to go to catch the USA whose Government already allocates over 32% of federal contracting dollars to small businesses. The US therefore remains one of the world’s most attractive business environment for SMEs and an American Dream that UK SMEs should continue to chase.
But the dreaming has been to be replaced with ‘hard yards’ if UK SMEs are to ‘crack’ the US market. And simply rolling out their UK marketing strategies won’t work, Keene’s MD, Simon Quarendon, warned members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) International Business Group. Addressing the Group at the SMMT’s Great Peter Street building, Simon’s presentation, entitled ‘’Punching above your weight’, highlighted the similarities and differences between the two markets and the need for UK SMEs to modify their strategies. ‘Don’t mistake American openness for an order’, advised Simon, who later reminded the audience to play up their Britishness. He referred them to Jaguar, which earlier this month ran an advertisement in the Super Bowl for thee first time in the company’s history as the company wanted “to take advantage of the recently rising esteem for things British”. For UK SMEs, America clearly still represents a land of opportunity.
During his career, Simon has advised numerous blue chip clients and has worked on a number of large scale communications programmes. Simon has extensive international experience and was a previous Secretary General of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), a trade association representing over 1,000 PR agencies in 28 countries.
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